Poland and Hungary are open to new proposals on EU budget

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland and Hungary are open to new proposals aimed at resolving a row with the European Union over linking funds from its budget and recovery fund to the rule of law, a Polish government spokesman said on Monday.

Poland and Hungary are blocking about 1.8 trillion euros worth of EU funds, including hundreds of billions due to be disbursed soon to help pull the 27-country bloc out of a double-dip recession caused by a second wave of COVID-19.

Their prime ministers met in Warsaw on Monday after meeting in Budapest last week.

The European Union is currently investigating both nationalist governments for undermining the independence of their judiciaries and media.

“We’re open to new proposals and we are convinced an agreement can be reached, but we stress that it has to be compliant with EU treaties and conclusions from the European Council meeting in July,” government spokesman Piotr Muller said after the meeting.

He added that both countries are trying to convince other EU partners that “such arbitrary criteria of assessing rule of law in other countries would be dangerous” for the future of European integration.

“And they can de facto lead to a future disintegration of the EU, which no one wants,” he added.

Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Nick Zieminski